Les Grands Chais de France sets sights on low-alcohol sector

08 September, 2016

Leading French wine supplier Les Grands Chais de France has created a dedicated division in response to the growing demand for alternative beverages and low-alcohol wines. 

Launched in April, the Drinks & International Wines division is dedicated to managing the new category will focus on German wines, New World wines, wine-based cocktails, alcohol-free wines and cocktails, and licensed products with and without alcohol. The new products are bottled in Germany and Alsace, and are distinct from its Bordeaux wine offering, GCF says. 

Holger Meier, Drinks & International Wines division, director said: "Low alcohol wine and cocktails is a category that has shown significant growth in all markets across the globe. Mainly driven by the category of sparkling cocktails (they are all between 4-7 % abv), young consumers have been attracted by this. Competing against the strong category of beer and beer mixers, the opportunities for the wine industry are to get young people into the wine, and hopefully later on to more sophisticated products”.

“In addition to that, the general trend towards a more healthier lifestyle has helped to grow the category. Consumers are more conscious about their drinking habits and are more sensitive regarding calories and alcohol in general.”

Meier said there is a 4.2m bottle per year market for low and non alcohol wine in France to be tapped into. “This health trend has lead to an overall quality of low alcohol that is very drinkable nowadays and even strong in traditional markets for wine.”

This is also a global trend, Meier said. “The major driver for growth and volume remains the advantage on excise duty. So for the time being, the UK can be seen as the most important market for low (5.5% maximum) alcohol wines and drinks.”

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